The becoming of form : morphogenesis as paradigm to preserve identity in complex architecture

D.H. Willems

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A design process is dynamic and infinite. An architect has the demanding task to tastefully shape and materialize the environment in support of a program supplied by a client or situation. Solutions are naturally diverse and subject to an ever changing field of functional and aesthetic criticism. We have grown to know the computer as an instrument capable of providing strong feedback during the design process. This increased the possibilities to embrace the complexity that can be found in a contemporary architectural design challenge. Nevertheless, most software currently used in the architectural field still only operates as an enhanced drawing tool and the majority of designs are based on settled strategies. This research paper is a study towards a possible application of the computer, contributing in the morphogenesis of a complex architectural structure using a bottom-up approach. The main issue addressed in this paper is how contemporary architects could benefit from an evolutionary design approach. The proposed paradigm requires a shift in the way the architect is operating. Rather than working on a single design solution, the architectural program is to be expressed as a dynamic body plan, capable of unfolding into a variety of design alternatives. This relational diagram should contain all relevant information regarding the functioning of the different building components in time and space. Based on the relationships that are found in the body plan, generative procedures consisting of logic rules and constraints between building components can be invented. By implementing these procedures into a computer script, the geometry of possible design solutions can be generated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDe Identitate: Preprints of Proceedings of the Seminar De Identitate, 26-27 July 2004, Rome. Italy
Place of PublicationMilano
PublisherPolitecnico di Milano
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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